City ponders ‘pocket park’ to address downtown drainage problems

LACONIA — The Planning Department will host public meetings this evening to seek opinion from the general public about plans to improve the drainage and landscape the space at the so-called "concrete courtyard" near the intersection of Pleasant Street and Main Street.

The meetings at City Hall will begin at 5 p.m. with a presentation of the proposed plan followed by an open discussion between 6 and 7 p.m. and closing with a second presentation of the plan at 7 p.m. for those unable to attend the earlier presentation.

Known as "Water Street Extension," the area includes the paved area beginning at the shops along Vintage Row and extending past the McIntyre Building, which houses New England Porch Rockers, and along the of the vacant commercial space next door to Bootlegger's shoe store. The plan also includes improvements to the expanse of pavement on Main Street south of its intersection with Pleasant Street.

Last year, when the water main at the location was replaced, excavation revealed an abundance of underground utilities close to one another, effectively precluding the installation of underground drainage.

Instead, Loureiro Engineering Associates Inc. of Manchester has designed a series of "rain gardens," or landscaped islands bounded by walkways that will capture storm water to improve drainage. The island would include benches as well as a table with seating creating what Planning Director Shanna Saunders calls a "pocket park." In the paved area along Main Street, where there are already trees, the areas around them would be enlarged to accommodate additional plantings and benches.

Favorites from Nadia's Trattoria return at Myrna's Classic Cuisine in Gilford

GILFORD — For Carol Clancy, owner of Myrna's Classic Cuisine, which opened three weeks ago in the Paugus Bay Plaza on Lake Street, recent weeks have been something like a homecoming.
For 20 years Clancy operated Nadia's Trattoria, first in North Conway and until six years ago in Gilford. The Italian restaurant had a popular following and now that Clancy is back in business in the Lakes Region she is being reunited with many of her former customers.
''It's been like an old home week here. People who used to be regular customers are showing up and just love the old favorites from Nadia's'' says Clancy, who says that she's also offering a wider variety of American fare on her menu.
''Ravioli ala Nadia and chicken parmigiana are the favorites so far, along with shrimp scampi,'' she says.
She says that seeing her old customers after six years of being out of the restaurant business has energized her. ''I did this for 20 years before the Nadia's site (on Lake Shore Road) was sold to TD BankNorth. It's like being home again,'' she says.
For Clancy, who is a self-taught chef, Italian food has always been a form of comfort food and she says that she's added American comfort foods like burgers, meatloaf, lobster rolls and steaks to her menu.
Among the appetizers at Myrna's, which is located in the former Cackling Crow space at the plaza, are bruschetta, shrimp cocktail, chicken wings, flat bread pizza, mussels marinara and meatball sliders.
She's also added some new twists to the salad menu with Myrna's Cobb Salad, which is topped with jumbo shrimp, lobster, grilled chicken, crisp bacon and hard boiled egg and blue cheese dressing as well as a grilled portobello mushroom brushed with sage butter and topped with homemade basil vinaigrette dressing and fresh mozzarella cheese.
A salmon picatta dish is also proving to a popular entree, as are the homemade lasagna with spinach, shiitake mushrooms and topped with a variety of cheeses, and the bacon-wrapped meatloaf.
Clancy was born in South Boston but grew up in Wakefield, just north of Rochester, and says she's always loved New Hampshire as a place to live and work.
She says she learned to cook from her former husband, who was born in Italy, and that she later partnered with the late Mike Girardi, who grew up in Boston's North End, to turn out a wide variety of Italian dishes at Nadia's in Gilford.
She's joined in the kitchen by Sharon Bailey and Helen McConnell, both of whom are experienced cooks, and says that she has a good staff which is always looking to make sure that the customers are welcomed and have a good experience ay Myrna's.

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Helen McConnell, Carol Clancy, owner of Myrna's Classic Cuisine, holding a salmon picatta dish, and Sharon Bailey, share the cooking duties at Myrna's, now open at the Paugus Bay Plaza in Gilford. (Roger Amsden photo/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


2:42 a.m. traffic stop results in arrest for possession of & intent to distribute heroin

LACONIA — City police charged a Merrimac Street man with possession of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute after a traffic stop on Highland Street on July 9.

An officer stopped Michael Brown, 31, for failing to use his traffic signal after making a left turn from Fairview Street at 2:42 a.m. When the officer asked for his license and registration, he said the car wasn't his so he didn't know where the registration was. He said the car belonged to a friend who lived on Fairview Street.

The officer said he observed that Brown's pupils were constricted and unresponsive to his flashlight. He noted he appeared nervous.

A supervisor arrived and walked up to the passenger side the car. Affidavits said the sergeant noticed Brown's legs were shaking and he had sweat coming from his hairline. When the sergeant bent down to the car from the passenger side he said he saw a clear plastic baggie on Brown's right side and money in his pocket. He said Brown began to shuffle around in the seat.

Police affidavits said the sergeant told Brown to get out of the vehicle because he feared for a weapon and once he was out of the car, the sergeant noticed a plastic baggie with smaller baggies inside of it. The powder inside the small baggies were consistent with heroin.

Once Brown was handcuffed, police said they found a red cigarette box with $271 dollars and two clear plastic bags of brownish powder. The sergeant estimated the amount of heroin found was about 15 grams and said Brown had a total of $321 on him.

The powder field tested positive for heroin.

After his video appearance in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on July 10, Brown was held on $10,000 cash bail only. As of Friday afternoon, he was still incarcerated.